Where to Eat in the French Riviera: An Insider's Guide
New York restaurateur Mike Mammoliti—the man behind Antibes-style Mamo—tells Travel + Leisure his favorite places to dine in the French Riviera.
When Mike Mammoliti opened Mamo, an outpost of his family’s Antibes restaurant Mamo Le Michelangelo, in Soho last spring, he did New Yorkers a major favor. The cozy, bi-level restaurant seems to transport diners (including A-listers like Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z) to its glamorous seaside hometown, with whitewashed brick walls adorned by vintage film posters, a great wine list, delicious Provençal-influenced Italian cuisine, and excellent service. Born and raised in Antibes, Mike grew up around his father’s restaurant and now splits his time between the South of France and New York. We asked him to dish on his favorite places to eat and drink around the French Riviera.
Related: How to Travel to the French Riviera
“There’s an excellent place called Volupté. They do an amazing cup of coffee for breakfast and late lunch. It’s in Cannes, and it’s the perfect place at any point of the day. The concept itself is just fantastic—they have great pastries and sandwiches, tea, and coffee.”
“I think the signature dishes of Antibes are the pan-bagnat, a sandwich that’s essentially a Niçoise salad, with hard boiled eggs, anchovies, and olive oil, socca paired with rosé, and of course, pissaladière, which is a classic Southern French dish made of thick dough topped with caramelized onions, garlic, and anchovies. Chez Josy makes some of the best pan-bagnat. My cousin and his wife own it, and make this sandwich in a very authentic way that you will only find in Antibes. And it is right on the beach.”
“There is a great cocktail bar called Absinthe Bar in old Antibes that I would recommend. It is almost like a speakeasy and all of the drinks are great. Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc is perfect for a drink even if you’re not staying there. It’s just beautiful and an experience in itself.”
“The restaurant Plage Keller is a beach restaurant and I would recommend the sea bass with artichoke ravioli. The view is breathtaking and you can see the beautiful cliffs all around.”
“Antibes really doesn’t have a late night scene as most people don’t even head to dinner until about 10 pm. Cannes has more of a late night feel, and Bâoli is the place to go. Definitely order a piscine,which is just champagne and ice. It’s refreshing and perfect.
“For pissaladière you must go to Boulangerie Veziano, it is a staple to Antibes. The bakery is a block away from my favorite photo of my grandfather when he was young that hangs in my restaurant in New York. It’s family-run, old, and beautiful, and the bread is fantastic. It’s just an authentic bakery and is three-generations strong. The owner has a small house behind the shop where he bakes the bread.”